What are the 10 best Mortal Kombat games?
Since debuting in 1992, Mortal Kombat has reigned supreme in the fighting game genre with numerous hit games.
While every game in the series has been fun to play, there is no denying that some stand out more than others.
Today, we’re looking at which Mortal Kombat games have been the most successful and popular among fans.
The 10 Best Mortal Kombat Games
In order to find the best Mortal Kombat games, we looked at the content of each installment, as well as fan reviews and sales data.
This has allowed us to determine which entries in the series have been the most impactful and worth playing.
So, let’s jump into the ring with our list of the 10 best Mortal Kombat games:
10. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006)
Kicking off our list, we have Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, the seventh main installment in the series and a sequel to Deception.
One of the best original Xbox games of all time, Armageddon features almost every character from the previous games.
The gameplay also retains many of the same elements as past games, including the multiple fighting styles of each character.
However, in this game, players are allowed to create their own fatalities instead of using the ones from prior titles.
Custom characters can also be made using the “Kreate a Fighter” mode, giving players the ability to make their own fighters.
Armageddon was the last Mortal Kombat game designed for sixth-generation consoles and the first to come to seventh-generation consoles, with its debut on the Wii.
It was very well received by fans and critics, though it did get some flack for using the same engine as the previous game.
9. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (2009)
If you’ve ever wanted to see Shao Kahn come to blows with Batman or Scorpion take on Deathstroke, this is the game for you!
This game’s story takes place after Raiden and Superman simultaneously unleash attacks in their respective universes.
The resulting power causes both Shao Kahn and Darkseid to merge, which, in turn, begins causing both universes to collide.
In story mode, players can experience the game through two different perspectives, either from the Mortal Kombat side or the DC Universe side.
Depending on which one players choose, the characters of the respective universe will see the others as invaders.
Followed by the Mortal Kombat reboot in 2011 and Injustice: Gods Among Us in 2013, this game wasn’t a breakout success, but it sure is fun!
8. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002)
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is one of the best GameCube games of all time, and it was the first to be exclusively made for home consoles.
Deadly Alliance is also the only mainline installment not to feature protagonist Liu Kang as one of the playable characters.
The fifth in the franchise, this game revolves around an alliance between Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, who are trying to revive an ancient army.
Like all other games in the series, Deadly Alliance focuses heavily on its different fighting modes, but the gameplay is completely different than that of past games.
Now, every playable character comes with three different fighting styles that can be switched between at any time.
This game also introduces Konquest mode, which expands the storyline and serves as an overall tutorial for every character.
Konquest mode gives players the ability to try out all of the characters in the game by completing a series of missions as each of them.
What really makes this game stand out is its fluid fighting that allows for some really epic battles.
At the time of its release, this game was ahead of its time, and even today, it holds up really well.
7. Mortal Kombat: Deception (2004)
The sixth main installment in the series and a sequel to Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Deception picks up where its predecessor left off.
Its story revolves around the Dragon King Onaga, who has been revived and is now attempting to conquer the realms.
All of the characters who survived the final battle with Quan Chi and Shang Tsung in the previous game make an appearance here to try and stop the Dragon King.
In total, there are 26 playable characters, nine of whom are making their first appearances in the series.
Deception also introduced several new features, including puzzle games, chess, and an online mode.
While Deception did receive some criticism for poor voice acting, its new features and fighting mechanics were highly praised.
This game was even called the best fighting game of 2004, and while it isn’t without a few problems, it is definitely worth playing.
6. Mortal Kombat (1992)
The first installment in the Mortal Kombat series, this is the game that started it all!
This game focuses on several characters who enter a martial arts contest to prove they’re the best.
In this game, players take on opponents in one-on-one matches, with the goal being to drain the other’s health bar.
Mortal Kombat also introduced the concept of knocking an enemy into the air with successive attacks that keep them suspended and helpless.
Considered one of the greatest games ever made, Mortal Kombat has had an incredible impact on the gaming industry, influencing numerous other series.
While it is, without a doubt, one of the best fighting games of all time, it also caused a great deal of controversy when it was released.
This is because of its depiction of extreme violence and gore, which the fun police thought was too much for audiences.
In fact, this game is largely one of the reasons why ratings for video games have become mandatory!
An undeniable piece of gaming history, Mortal Kombat is an incredible game and an absolute classic that everyone should play at least once.
5. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1995)
A standalone update of Mortal Kombat 3, this game features updated gameplay and two new game modes.
These modes include a two-on-two mode that is similar to an endurance match and an eight-player tournament mode.
To make gameplay more balanced, some characters were given new moves while others had their existing moves altered.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 also benefits from an improved opponent AI, new backgrounds, and new combos.
While this game first debuted in arcades, it was ported to many home consoles, including the Super NES, Sega Saturn, and Genesis.
It also made its way to the GBA, though both critics and fans felt that this was its weakest port.
Ultimate was also bundled with the premium version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, allowing a wider audience a chance to play it.
Considered to be a high point in the Mortal Kombat series, this game remains a must-play for fans of the franchise.
4. Mortal Kombat II (2007)
The second game in the Mortal Kombat series, this installment was first released in 1993 as an arcade fighting game.
However, it later became one of the best PS3 games ever created when it was ported to the console in 2007.
While it is a remake, it manages to capture the arcade experience extremely well, and not much has been changed.
This game has aged exceptionally well, with fast-paced gameplay and a huge array of finishing moves for players to choose from.
The 2007 version of this game also adds online competitive play, which is definitely one of its best updates.
Mortal Kombat II picks up where the original Mortal Kombat leaves off, featuring a new tournament set in the Outworld.
Often cited as one of the greatest games ever made, this updated version definitely does the original version of this game justice.
Although it does lag behind modern fighting games in some respects, this is a classic that has left a lasting mark on video game history.
3. Mortal Kombat (2011)
The ninth game in the Mortal Kombat series, this is a soft reboot of the franchise that retcons the events of the first three games.
Set during the events of Armageddon, the story centers around Raiden attempting to change the aftermath of the prior game’s events by contacting his past self.
A majority of the gameplay involves one-on-one matches in a 2.5D style, with characters rendered in 3D.
Unlike previous games, four buttons are used for attacks and are each connected to a specific limb.
There is also a new super meter that can be charged during battle and used to perform a variety of special moves.
This meter has three levels, each allowing for a different action to be performed, with a full three levels allowing for an x-ray move to be unleaded.
Other features that were added include a story mode where players can play as multiple characters and a fatality training mode.
Additionally, there are challenge tower, tag team, and online modes that provide a ton of things for players to do.
Challenge Tower, in particular, is a challenge mode that boasts over 300 different challenges with different levels of difficulty.
2. Mortal Kombat X (2015)
Mortal Kombat X is the sequel to the soft reboot of Mortal Kombat in 2011, and it is set 25 years later.
Like previous installments, a majority of the gameplay revolves around one-on-one combat between players and a CPU-controlled opponent.
There are several modes to play through, including a story mode and several tower modes, which have increasingly difficult challenges.
Players can also interact with the environment during battles, using parts of levels as weapons or as ways to reposition their characters.
Another new feature that was added includes two more types of finishing moves; quality and faction kills.
Quitality moves will immediately kill the player’s character if they end up rage-quitting during a multiplayer match.
Similarly, faction kills are a set of specific finishing moves associated with one of the game’s five factions.
Speaking of factions, a new online mode called Faction Wars was also added, which allows players to select a faction and compete against other players.
Online play is cross-platform as well, so if you’re playing on the PC, you can compete against others on a console.
Easily one of the best Xbox One games, Mortal Kombat X is a must-play for both old fans of the series and new!
1. Mortal Kombat 11 (2019)
Taking our number one spot is Mortal Kombat 11, the most recent release and by far the best to play right now.
While it is similar to previous games, Mortal Kombat 11 introduces new features such as fatal blows and krushing blows.
Similar to the iconic x-ray moves, fatal blows deal a huge amount of damage but are only available if a player is below 30% health.
Meanwhile, krushing blows are critical variations of a special move that deal extensive damage, often draining 30% of an opponent’s health.
Another new feature is the Kustom Variation, which is a character customization system that resembles the one found in Injustice 2.
This allows players to customize skins, gears, and moves, though this won’t determine the character’s overall abilities.
While Mortal Kombat 1 has opened registration for stress testing, if you’re not lucky enough to grab a spot, this game is the next best thing!
Although we’re eager to see if the next game can outdo this one, in the meantime. Mortal Kombat 11 reigns supreme as the best game in the series!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 10 best Mortal Kombat games and learned a bit about the series’ impact on history!
Mortal Kombat is one of the longest-running gaming franchises in the fighting genre, and it is poised to continue for many more decades.
While there are 24 games in the entire series, these 10 are the best and most worth playing, especially if you’ve yet to experience them!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Mortal Kombat games:
- Mortal Kombat 11 (2019)
- Mortal Kombat X (2015)
- Mortal Kombat (2011)
- Mortal Kombat II (2007)
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1995)
- Mortal Kombat (1992)
- Mortal Kombat: Deception (2004)
- Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002)
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (2009)
- Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006)
Which Mortal Kombat game do you want to play first? Leave a comment below.
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